The Teachers’ Trade Union
The term ‘trade union’ suggests to the Western reader an organisation, the primary function of which is to negotiate wages and salaries with management. In the public mind unions are perhaps associated with strikes or other forms of what has come to be called, by a strange euphemism, ‘industrial action’. To the Western worker the union to which he belongs is an agency protecting his interests, to which he can turn if threatened with unfair dismissal or an unjustified cut in salary, which protects his pension interests and is concerned for his welfare, which sees to it that management is not neglectful of his safety at work and that it obeys the law in other ways. A trade union, as do the teaching unions in Britain, may seek to further the development of the industry or profession with which it is concerned in a more general way. The union can be used to promote a political cause which may not be connected with its basic purpose, such as a trade boycott of an unpopular foreign regime.
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Notes and References
- 1.Lenin, V. I., Collected Works (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1965 ), vol. 32, p. 20.Google Scholar